Yaccarino: X Getting Video Calls with Its ‘Everything’ Rebrand

X is developing a video-calling feature to add as part of its rebranding as an “everything app.” X CEO Linda Yaccarino shared the news in her first television interview since leaving NBCUniversal to become head of Elon Musk’s social media platform in June, when the platform was still known as Twitter. Yaccarino said X users will soon be able to make video calls based on their social ID alone, without sharing phone numbers. Long-form videos, creator subscriptions and the ability to make payments on the platform are additional features that Yaccarino explained will be coming to X.

The CEO shared the news on CNBC last week, when she also discussed the strategy behind the name-change, saying it was something Musk had planned since acquiring Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, and that he made clear to her that she would be leading the transition to X when she was hired.

“The rebrand represented really a liberation from Twitter,” Yaccarino said, adding that it “allowed us to evolve past a legacy mindset and thinking” and “to change how we congregate, how we entertain, how we transact all in one platform.”

Changes that have occurred since the acquisition include “experiences and evolution into long-form video and articles” and the ability to “subscribe to your favorite creators, who are now earning a real living on the platform,” Yaccarino told CNBC. “You’ll be able to make video chat calls without having to give your phone number to anyone on the platform” as well as make “payments between users and friends and creators.”

“Last week, the company also snagged the @music handle for itself, suggesting possible interest in supporting musicians and artists,” TechCrunch reports.

Yaccarino — who ran global advertising at NBCUniversal before joining Twitter — used the CNBC interview to clarify that she has “autonomy” under Musk.

“Mine and Elon’s roles are very clear,” she emphasized, with Musk working on technological issues, “accelerating the rebrand and working on the future,” while she is “responsible for the rest. Running the company, from partnerships to legal to sales to finance.”

Yaccarino defended Musk’s changes following the purchase, saying “X’s trust and safety team is ‘healthier’ than it was when it was publicly traded,” CNBC reports, contextualizing that “Twitter effectively disbanded its ethical team in November and laid off all but one of its members, along with 15 percent of its trust and safety department.”

The company has “stabilized” at 1,500 employees, down from 8,000.

CNBC adds, “Musk has claimed that user engagement continually reaches fresh highs, but the company has yet to provide concrete data to back up those assertions” and writes that Yaccarino asserts advertisers including Coca-Cola and Visa have returned to the platform.

Musk’s X Social Media Platform Shuts Down Promoted Accounts Ad Business, Reuters, 8/15/23
Threads App Usage Plummets Despite Initial Promise as Refuge from Twitter, The Guardian, 8/14/23

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